Vertical Farm in San Diego

By:  | November - 21 - 2012

Mixed-use vertical farm designed by Brandon Martella for the city of San Diego. The project is located next to the waterfront and the historical Gaslamp district.

Food as a resource is limited. Supply will soon not meet demand. With population growth, food production in the United States is reaching maximum capacity. Current trends in development create a struggle between farming and living. These two practices are modeled for their own benefit and are soon to clash in a disastrous agglomeration. According to the FDA, the average American alone consumes 707.7lbs of fruits and vegetables each year. With the majority of produce coming from the Imperial Valley, Central California Valley, neighboring states and other countries the 30,000 plus residents of San Diego’s central urban context consume 21,231,000 pounds of produce each year. Where will we get our food? Transparency in the food industry needs to occur and enlighten blinded consumers. Our city needs to handle this critical issue with an architecture that responds.

A new type of residential tower needs to come forth. Utilizing vertical farming, a new model of living can be tested and resolved in a dense vertical community. With local production comes local exchange. A new type of market will become a specimen of culture that dramatically contrasts the a-typical American means of consumption, an apparatus enriched with an exchange of local produce, and a place for the community to gather. The farm tower located in a vertical community of tourist resources and developer condos will provide fresh produce daily to celebrate a direct injection of goods from farm to market. It will create new opportunities for education, commerce, and healthy living while utilizing the local by products of city living. Waste, grey water and black water can all be redeemed through recycling, grey water infused aquaponics, and black water compact combustion to create thermal energy. This new form of residential high-rise can be plugged into the existing city grid injected with the by products of its traditional equivalents to produce something responsible, something different from its otherwise insular counterparts. Vertical crops can grow food hydroponically supporting the greater masses directly, and allowing for reclamation of delusive farmland. The adjacent Children’s Museum with its motto of Think, Play, and Create will be embraced with a second motto to foster a new level of social interface and engage a community from farm to market from community to education; lets Live, Share, and Grow within our city.

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